Hardik Pandya hit four towering sixes and ran swiftly between the wickets at the DY Patil T20 Cup as chief selector MSK Prasad closely monitored the all-rounder’s fitness level in his first game following a back surgery.

Besides scoring 38, Hardik took three wickets with the ball as Reliance 1 won by 25 runs. Also monitoring the fitness progress of Pandya was India A and U-19 coach Paras Mhambrey at the D Y Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.

Hardik, who has played 11 Tests, 54 ODIs and 40 T20Is, last played for India on September 22, 2019 in a T20 game against South Africa.

The 26-year-old Hardik suffered an acute lower back injury five months ago and underwent a surgery in London, following which he has been rehabilitating at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.

Outgoing chief selector Prasad seemed pleased with the progress and said, “All three looked in good shape and it was good to see Hardik steaming in.”
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